Pattaya Daily News

17 December 2008 :: 16:12:17 pm 6000

Silver Lining Behind the Current Clouds of Despondency

Instead of bemoaning out lot, complaining about faltering global and local economies, crashing banks, billion dollar frauds and the imminent demise of the Thai tourist industry, with its knock on effects of severe unemployment, perhaps we should welcome the opportunity to throw off the fetters of materialism and return to a micro-economy, where individual self-determinism and self-help take precedence.
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Instead of building colossal fossil or nuclear fuel-burning power stations, for example, how about implementing more alternative technology, particularly for the remote areas, where the costs of electrical transmission are prohibitive? Of course, the increasing implementation of alternative technology doesn’t need to be confined to remote areas, but is effective anywhere. Cheap alternative technology radically reduces demands on the national electrical grid, saves substantial amounts of money and helps preserve the environment.

Hand-made wind generators, methane converters, cost-effective solar collectors, to name but a few alternative technology products, can all be easily sourced on the Internet, and being essentially cheap to manufacture can save billions, absorb laid –off and otherwise unemployed individuals and put them to productive use, whereby they regain their self-respect and what’s more, help the local community and the nation as a whole.

Growing your own fruit and vegetables here in Thailand is supremely easy. It’s a matter of clearing the ground, sowing the seeds and routine care, without the use of artificial fertilisers, naturally, which are costly, both financially and environmentally. So doing will not only provide sufficient food for a family, but educate the young in the means of communing and co-operating with nature, rather than becoming increasingly dependent on factory produced food, which is all too often lacking in nutrients, contributes to ill health and produces obesity.

A change of emphasis and direction is needed, away from the increasingly alienated and isolated individual, towards communal ventures. Collaboration on communally-owned inland fish and shrimp farms provides another rich source of not only protein, but employment. Other communal projects could include building substantial wooden housing for workers and villagers, rather than subjecting them to the indignity of living in pro-tem tin shacks. Handicrafts can transmitted and those which are threatened, or have suffered a temporary demise, can be revived and maintained indefinitely by hands-on tutoring by those already proficient, before the art dies out. All these projects can be organised on a democratic cell basis, with rotational leadership, judged on merit and maturity of vision.

Rather than be reliant solely on economic tourism, the emphasis should be put upon adventure and educational tours and eco-tourism, which also serves to preserve the environment, rather than demolishing trees and clearing valuable land for the fatuous indulgence of foreign wage-slaves. The opportunity should also be taken to inculcate environmental awareness, especially in the youth, which appears to be sorely lacking in Thailand.

Transport and its steadily increasing costs is yet another bugbear and constant source of concern. Again, a change of consciousness appears to be desperately needed, away from the selfish individual use of private vehicles, towards more sharing of transport and discouraging the practice of unnecessary journeys; perhaps also a greater return to bicycles and other more natural means of transport. Finally, dependence on a rapidly devaluing monetary system should be discouraged, with more emphasis on barter.

These proposals may seem radical to some, but they are all eminently practical means of seeing the country through the current economic turmoil, which realistically is not going to vanish any time soon. It’s time for a radical rethink and paradigm shift towards a more realistic and far more productive and fulfilling future.

Reporter : PDN staff   Photo : Internet   Category : Editorial

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